December 2, 2006
Martin misses chance to win game
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - This was not the way Kansas State wanted to end its two-game road swing. The Wildcats trailed Colorado State 81-74 with just 25 seconds left to play Saturday afternoon and appeared destined to drop its third contest in four outings, but they never could have foreseen this finish. K-State staged a furious rally in the final seconds, but it was one that fell painfully short with Cartier Martin standing heartbroken at the free-throw line.
The excitement began with K-State trailing by eight points with just 1:04 left to play, as the Wildcats embarked on a 11-5 run over the next 1:03 to close to within a point with 1.2 seconds left to play and CSU in-bounding the ball. The Rams attempted to throw a pass near the length of the court to 7-footer Jason Smith, but the ball flew over his head and out of bounds, giving the Wildcats possession under their own basket.
Martin caught the ensuing in-bounds pass behind the 3-point line and was fouled on a shot from beyond the arc with just one-tenth of a second left to play. K-State, trailing 84-82, was on the brink of completing a thrilling comeback, but the senior from Houston couldn't provide the finishing touches. Martin made only the last of the three tries, leaving K-State a point short at 84-83.
"I was confident. I make free throws every day," Martin said afterwards. "They just didn't fall. I don't know
"I'm never nervous, this is what I do, play basketball," he added. "They just didn't fall."
For much of the game, it seemed hard to believe that the Wildcats would ever be in such a position to win.
A Smith dunk with 12:22 left in the first half gave Colorado State (5-2) an eight-point lead at 16-8, but K-State (4-3) answered when Clent Stewart knocked down three consecutive 3-point attempts during a 9-2 spurt that cut the lead to just a single point. The Rams answered right back, however, as Tyler Smith knocked down a pair of shots from behind the arc to spark his team to a 37-27 halftime edge. Smith scored 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.
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